Woodland Habitat Restoration

At the end of 2005, Coillte in partnership with the EU LIFE-Nature Programme began work on the restoration and conservation of over 550 hectares of priority native woodland habitats in the west and midlands of Ireland. Because of their rarity, these woodland habitats are given "priority" status under the EU Habitats Directive, which means that they are rare not only in Ireland but across the entire European Union.

Nine sites were included in this project, with four rare woodland habitat types targeted for restoration works,

  • alluvial woodland,
  • bog woodland,
  • woodland associated with limestone pavement,
  • yew woodland.

Over the course of four years the project addressed the main ecological threats to these valuable forest habitats, namely the introduction and spread of exotic tree and shrub species, drainage, grazing and trespass. The project promoted public awareness of the importance of priority woodland habitats through the creation of three demonstration sites which encourage visitors to enjoy the natural surroundings of these woodlands and learn about the restoration techniques undertaken.

Picture of Native Alluvial Woodland on Coillte estate by riverside
Picture of a Scot's pine forest on Coillte lands

The significance of this project was in establishing important conditions which are now allowing the continued natural regeneration of priority woodland habitats into the future. The project was the largest of its kind to be undertaken in Ireland.

Learn more about the four years of LIFE Restoration works at the priority woodland habitats at the website below.

Coillte acknowledges the funding received from the EU LIFE Nature programme.


Coillte/LIFE Woodland Restoration Project Website


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